Senior Major Gifts Officer

December 2021 | New York, Metro Area
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Climate Central is seeking an energetic, strategic, and seasoned Senior Major Gifts Officer to raise funds in support of the organization’s mission to communicate climate change science, effects, and solutions to the public and decision-makers.

About Climate Central

Climate Central is a dynamic science, technology, and communications organization. Its staff of leading scientists, tech experts and communication professionals are dedicated to researching and reporting on climate change and its impacts and solutions. Founded by top scientists at Princeton, Yale, and Stanford and a generous philanthropist in 2008, Climate Central provides a bridge between the public and climate scientists and contributes in a pivotal way to the national and international efforts to communicate the facts of climate change.

child walking through water in rain bootsThousands of scientists have declared that the planet is now facing a climate emergency — and that how humanity responds this decade will shape every aspect of our common home for hundreds of years to come. No past generation has been in position to make such a profound and lasting difference for so many people. Climate Central doesn’t claim to know all the answers, but they do know that the more citizens and leaders they can educate and inspire, the better the chance for meaningful action that rises to the level of the challenge. Climate Central’s small, focused, and widely recognized team is a leader in developing and delivering effective, science-backed climate communications via trusted messengers to diverse key audiences around the U.S. and world.

As an independent, non-partisan science organization, Climate Central researches and reports the facts about climate change impacts, such as extreme weather, drought, flooding, wildfires, and sea level rise, as well as alternative energy systems and transportation. Climate Central is not an advocacy organization and does not lobby or support any specific legislation, policy or bill. In addition to its policy-neutral, non-partisan stance, its values include scientific and journalistic integrity and the importance of informing the public, effective communication, and collaboration.

Climate Central is exceptional in reaching large audiences with localized information that makes the impacts of climate change relevant and personal. The organization uses science, big data, and technology to generate thousands of local storylines and compelling visuals that make climate change relevant and show what can be done about it. Content is delivered through trusted local messengers at scale, including in areas with below-average levels of climate understanding and concern. The goal: to catalyze a response in proportion to the problem.

About the Opportunity

Climate Central is seeking an energetic, strategic, frontline fundraiser to join its development team. Reporting to the Vice President for Development, the Senior Major Gifts Officer will manage a portfolio of prospects and donors that have the capacity to make six- and seven-figure gifts to support the organization’s mission and goals. This position offers an exceptional and entrepreneurial candidate the chance to make a difference by growing resources for an organization with a powerful track record.

mother holding daughter in floodClimate Central has historically received its funding principally from individuals, foundations, and government grants via university partners, raising on average $8M annually. In the coming year, Climate Central plans to emphasize major and principal philanthropic giving from new individuals and foundations to diversify its portfolio of revenue streams. The organization is working to develop communications strategies that reach and move large, geographically, and ideologically diverse audiences and key decision-makers around the world to understand and act on climate change. Climate Central’s Programs, Finance, and Administration groups work closely with the Development team to support these objectives.

Currently, Climate Central’s work is being conducted remotely. When conditions allow, the Senior Major Gifts Officer must be able to spend significant amount of each month traveling, with a focus on New York and surrounding states, and be able to have a regular presence at the Princeton, NJ headquarters.

Key Responsibilities

  • Effectively manage a portfolio of major gift prospects and donors that have the capacity to make six- and seven-figure gifts.
  • Work closely with the Vice President for Development and the development team to create strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors, including the design and execution of complex, high-level solicitations.
  • Make a minimum of ten meaningful donor contacts per month and an average of two major gift solicitations per month.
  • Seek new, promising prospects through research and leveraging the organization’s impressive board, donor, and staff network.
  • Align prospect interests and philanthropic goals with Climate Central’s current and emerging funding priorities.
  • Cultivate working relationships with Climate Central leadership and program staff to understand the needs and opportunities for the organization.
  • To advance cultivation efforts, manage a limited number of major donor events to attract new prospects and deepen engagement with current donors.
  • Oversee donor stewardship efforts for select donors, helping to promote a culture of gratitude.
  • In addition to the major gift portfolio of individuals, also manage a small portfolio of foundations.
  • Develop compelling proposals and stewardship plans.

Key Qualifications

  • Minimum of 5-8 years of development experience, with a strong record of closing five and six-figure gifts; experience closing seven-figure gifts is a plus.
  • Passion for and commitment to environmental issues and science
  • Understanding of the Moves Management process and ability to think and work strategically.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects and donors while effectively moving them through the gift cycle.
  • Experience building new donor programs, identifying giving opportunities and thinking creatively to establish matches between donors and Climate Central’s programs and funding priorities.
  • Experience with both highly engaged donors as well as making qualification calls.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage and support volunteer leadership with their efforts in fundraising, consultation, and advocacy.
  • Experience utilizing fundraising database programs.
  • A high level of initiative, organizational skills, and meticulous attention to detail.
  • Skill in successfully managing multiple projects on tight deadlines and under pressure in a dynamic and open environment.
  • field at sunset with windmillsUnquestionable integrity and commitment to professional ethics, and the ability to responsibly handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to grasp and articulate complex programs in a way that meets the interests and passions of donors.
  • A creative, enthusiastic team member with a clear commitment to the mission of the organization.
  • Strong verbal communication skills and demonstrated ability to write clearly and persuasively.
  • Experience interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Able to travel and undertake occasional evening and weekend work.
  • Experience with fundraising in the New York area a plus

Climate Central embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We are committed to building a workplace that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. We recognize that diverse teams make the strongest teams, and we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.

If you are interested in being considered for this search, please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:

Jesse Bryan

Senior Consultant

Development Guild DDI 

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